AP News

News Summary: US banks' profit best in 6 years

BANK PROFITS UP: U.S. banks are enjoying their best profits in six years and are lending a bit more freely. The gradual improvement suggests that the industry will sustain its healing from the worst financial crisis in decades and help strengthen the economy.

CAUTION FROM BIG BANKS: Some of the largest banks are cautioning, though, that their earnings are up mostly because they've sold less-profitable businesses, shed loans and trimmed jobs — not because of a more vibrant economy.

LENDING INCREASE 'MODEST': The chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Martin Gruenberg, said banks' increase in lending in the July-September quarter was "relatively modest."

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